By Peter J. Tomasi, Carlo Barberi, Art Thibert, Protobunker, Rob Leigh
Adventures of the Super Sons #1 sees the return of Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent after their finale in Super Sons. Along with them, Peter J. Tomasi and Carlo Barberi are back on writing and drawing duties respectively. This debut issue totally indulges in its main characters and fun tone, making it great for kids and parents. Jonathan and Damian’s personalities butt against each other and the set up for the first arc comes from way out of left field in a great way. Barberi’s art is energetic and his layouts make for an easy read, while Art Thibert’s restrained inks keep things dramatic without being too dark. Colors by Protobunker fill in each page with a nice balance of colored and uncolored backgrounds that set off important moments well. Wrapping the book together, Rob Leigh tethers moments together with smart, fluid lettering.
From page one, Tomasi makes a point to show what kind of stories the series is going to tell. The boys face off against a minor league villain with a quirky power that shows Damian and Jonathan’s fun but flawed relationship. Jonathan is always willing to help—as long as Damian steps off of his high horse long enough to admit he needs it. Damian is exceedingly smart, and likes to make sure Jonathan knows. The whole issue runs with this dynamic. There’s always a snarky comment or a jab, which makes the script really lively. You’re always wondering how they’ll one up the other. Tomasi writes this issue with lots of heart, even when it comes to the villain’s introduction.
Rob Leigh delivers all of this in a neat package. The way he separates each balloon adds cadence to the dialogue, as well as another level of characterization.
Barberi captures all of this back and forth in his figures and panel layouts. When the banter starts flying, Barberi focuses the panel so we see both characters’ reactions. He puts thought into body language so that when Damian is being sly, there’s no confusion about it. His eyes narrow or a smirk crosses his face. When Damian knows he holds the power, it’s clear. Jonathan, meanwhile, always shows a confident optimism. You can tell in every page that he knows he’s the son of Superman, both in personality and power.
Art Thibert and Protobunker share real estate really well in this issue. In more melodramatic comics, we’d see deep shadows and backgrounds, but here, Thibert relies a lot more on subtle hatching. Thanks to that diligence, Protobunker is able to show off really energetic colors, and together, they establish the youthful spirit of the issue.
This series looks like it’ll be a blast thanks to a devoted, cooperative team. Adventures of the Super Sons #1 is a solid recommendation for parents, kids, or anyone who still isn’t sold on Damian. Tomasi, Barberi, Thibert, Leigh, and Protobunker come together for a worthwhile series that’s easy to enjoy.
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